One of my favourite bloggers is Seth Godin. I receive his blogs on a daily basis and always enjoy what he writes as, for the majority of the time, what he has to say is relevant to me; and most likely similarly relevant to all of his readers.
Recently he addressed the issue of quality and one’s interpretation of quality in different situations.
He quoted “If you can reliably, and without drama, deliver precisely what you have promised, this is quality.” He follows with a few examples such as “This is what happens when a car, regardless of price, has doors that don’t squeak.
Or when a website doesn’t go down. Or when your dry cleaning is ready on the day it’s promised, and your clothes are clean.”
This really resonated with me as a recruitment consultant and business owner because recruitment is an extremely competitive industry and there are many companies out there offering premium services and ‘quality’ to their clients.
It is a huge selling point in my business, however, unless a client has a benchmark against which they can compare, how do they really know that they are receiving a quality or premium service?
To me, quality of service is everything and if you want to grow your business you need to provide your customers with a premium product or service.
I have listed a few tips that we use on a daily basis in our business:
Respond as quickly as possible:
Return those phone calls or respond to emails within 24 hours, don’t leave a person hanging for days on end because you are ‘busy’.
Prioritise your days and ensure you call your customers.
Know your customers:
I often spend months growing a relationship with a client before I recruit for them and that’s okay because it gives me an opportunity to get to know the business and the key people in it.
Only recently I interviewed a ‘perfect’ candidate (on paper) for a job but upon meeting them realised that they would not be the right fit for this particular client.
If I didn’t know my client as well as I did, I could have easily shortlisted this person and wasted everyone’s time. In this case I had another role that was ideal for this exceptional candidate and I also found the right person for my client and his team. A win, win all around!
Fix your mistakes:
Either through error or misunderstanding, when you make a mistake, fix it. Don’t argue with your customer, just do everything you can (to a point) to make things right.
Happy clients are forever clients, right?
Go the extra mile:
People love to be made feel special, so offer them a service that is above their expectations. Surprise them! When I worked for Royal Caribbean they advertised far and wide that we delivered the ‘WOW’ and boy did we deliver!
Guests onboard were given a service that they would be hard pressed to find anywhere on land and to this day, one of the reasons they are the highest rated cruise line in the world for customer service is because guests leave going ‘Wow! What an amazing vacation’.
Do the same in YOUR business. Deliver the WOW!
Think long term. A customer is for life:
To me, my clients are gold but so are my candidates. Many of my candidates will one day become my clients, so I ensure that we offer them the best possible service from the beginning through understanding, empathy and clear communication.
Not only is it professional to do so, but you have the opportunity to gain customers for life.
How important is it to deliver an excellent service? If you want to stay in business long term, then it’s imperative and should be the driving force behind your business.
Customer service has an impact on both existing and potential customers, in fact a recent survey found that 68% of customers would react by telling family and friends about a bad experience by posting it on a social network and as each Facebook profile has an average of 229 friends, the reach of this experience can very quickly reach thousands.
However, there is great value in ensuring you deliver a premium service to your customers. Up to 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better service and 73% of people have said that good customer service has made them fall in love with the brand.
Not only will you see happier and more loyal customers but you will see an increase in business.
Isn’t that what we all work so hard for?